WALKING – THE KING OF EXERCISES
Take a two-mile walk every morning before breakfast. [Harry Truman -advice on how to live to be 8O, on his 8Oth birthday]
Improved standard of living has come with a big “side effect”. The accessibility and availability of vehicles, television, and deskwork have taken their toll! By their 5O’s more than 4O per cent of males and 😯 per cent of females are sedentary – they spend too much time sitting. A sedentary lifestyle is now considered so bad for you that The American Heart Association lists it as a major ‘risk factor’ on a par with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and cigarette smoking for your heart. In addition to improving cardiovascular health, walking helps with back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, varicose veins, reducing cholesterol, and other medical problems where inactivity is a factor. Walking also improves the mood and helps bowel movement and sleep.
Walking is one of the easiest and most profitable forms of exercise. All you need is a
good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, and desire.
HOW TO START
It is easy! Just walk out the door. For most people this means head out the door, walk for 10 minutes, and walk back. Do this every day for a week. If this was easy for you, add five minutes to your walks next week (total walking time 25 minutes). Keep adding 5 minutes until you are walking as long as desired.
WATCH your posture. Walk tall. Hold your head up and eyes forward. Your shoulders
should be down, back and relaxed. Walk with a natural stride.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after walking. Start your walk at a slow warm up pace, stop and do a few warm up stretches. Then walk for the desired length of time. End your walk with the slower cool down pace and stretch well. Stretching will make you feel great and assist in injury prevention.
HOW MUCH TO WALK?
If you are walking for the general health benefits try to walk 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, at a "talking" pace. (Talking pace means you have elevated breathing, but you can still carry a conversation.)
To improve cardiovascular fitness you should walk 3 to 4 days a week, 20 to 30 minutes at a very fast pace. At this pace you are breathing hard but not gasping for air. If you are walking for weight loss you should walk a minimum of five days a week, 45 to 60 minutes at a brisk pace.
Zero to Sixty in Twelve Weeks – An easy to follow schedule to get you walking 60
minutes in 12 weeks.
WHAT WALKING GEARS DO YOU NEED?
One of the easiest fitness activities is walking and a big reason it is so easy … you don’t really need any gear. Below are a few items to consider. Shoes – The most important item you need is a good pair of walking shoes. Shoes should fit comfortably, have a flexible sole and plenty of toe room.
Socks – As important as what shoes to wear is your choice of socks. Be sure to wear the socks you will walk in when trying on shoes. Cotton socks are preferable to synthetic ones.
Clothing – Wear what is comfortable for you. On cold weather days, layer your clothing so items can be removed as you warm up.
Water – Please be sure to drink plenty of water. If walking around the block drink some water before you head out and more when you return. If walking for longer than 30 minutes take your water along. Be sure to drink every 20 minutes. There are many convenient water carriers – from waist packs to shoulder carriers. Choose what works best for you.
Pedometer – A pedometer is a device that counts your steps and/or mileage. They must be accurately adjusted to your stride length to get a good reading. They come with a variety of features. Some will even calculate calorie expenditure. The most sophisticated versions are the new GPS systems. These actually calculate speed and distance based on satellite readings!
Personal Stereo – A personal stereo / CD player can be a great walking companion.
Music can motivate you and energize your workout while helping to pass the time by
creating a distraction. Be sure to keep the volume at a low enough level so you can hear what is going on around you.
A Training Diary – A diary or fitness log is a great tool. Use it to write down your goals, and keep track of your fitness program.
Treadmill is an optional device for walking. Owning a treadmill makes sticking with
your walking routine easier. If time, personal safety, allergies, or weather conditions,
limit your outdoor walking a treadmill can be a great asset.
Now-a-days more and more people are investing in a treadmill. They come in different varieties. Before buying one, take your time and compare different models. But most important aspect is using it! An unused treadmill is a waste of money.
Come let us make a resolution on this day about our health – “START WALKING”